Prevention Science

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 189–201 | Cite as

Familias Unidas: The Efficacy of an Intervention to Promote Parental Investment in Hispanic Immigrant Families

  • Hilda Pantin
  • J. Douglas Coatsworth
  • Daniel J. Feaster
  • Frederick L. Newman
  • Ervin Briones
  • Guillermo Prado
  • Seth J. Schwartz
  • José Szapocznik


This paper reports a test of the efficacy of Familias Unidas, a Hispanic-specific, ecologically focused, parent-centered preventive intervention, in promoting protection against and reducing risk for adolescent behavior problems. Specifically, the intervention was designed to foster parental investment, reduce adolescent behavior problems, and promote adolescent school bonding/academic achievement, all protective factors against drug abuse and delinquency. One-hundred sixty seven Hispanic families of 6th and 7th grade students from three South Florida public schools were stratified by grade within school and randomly assigned to intervention and no-intervention control conditions. Results indicated that Familias Unidas was efficacious in increasing parental investment and decreasing adolescent behavior problems, but that it did not significantly impact adolescent school bonding/academic achievement. Summer-vacation rates of adolescent behavior problems were six times higher in the control condition than in the intervention condition. Furthermore, change in parental investment during the intervention was predictive of subsequent levels of adolescent behavior problems. The findings suggest that Familias Unidas is efficacious in promoting protection and reducing risk for adolescent problem behaviors in poor immigrant Hispanic families.

prevention family adolescents hispanic parental investment 


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilda Pantin
    • 1
  • J. Douglas Coatsworth
    • 2
  • Daniel J. Feaster
    • 1
  • Frederick L. Newman
    • 3
  • Ervin Briones
    • 1
  • Guillermo Prado
    • 1
  • Seth J. Schwartz
    • 1
  • José Szapocznik
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Family Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiami
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park
  3. 3.Department of Health Services AdministrationFlorida International UniversityNorth Miami

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